Moolah. Paper. Bucks. Dough. Dinero. I’m talking about MONEY. We all wanna make it, right?
And we’ve got no problem dropping stacks of it on shit like eyelash extensions or acrylic nails or the perfect balayage highlights. Don’t even get me started on all the things we do to our eyebrows…
Waxing, threading, tinting, microblading, henna brows, brow lamination, you name it.
We’ve got no problem spending our hard-earned cash on things that make us look good, because we know that in the moment it’s gonna make us feel good.
And yet, we’re absolutely terrified at the idea of investing money in ourselves and in our own businesses.
In fact, one of the most common questions that I get asked about Google Ads is, “How much money will I need to spend?”
Prefer to listen to this article instead? Click on the player at the top of this post. Or, you can read on…
It’s a fair question. But to be honest, I think 9 times out of 10 people aren’t really asking for advice on how to budget for their campaigns…
What they’re really wondering deep down inside is, “How can I spend as little as possible?”
In fact I’ve even had people come right out and say that! I’ve had people ask me, “How can I get 5 new clients a month with a budget of $3/day?”
And the short answer is… you probably can’t. And if you aren’t willing to invest more than $3/day in yourself, then you’re probably not ready to be advertising.
But let’s unpack this…
If you’re wondering how you can spend as little as possible on paid traffic, my question to you is, “Why are you coming into this with such a limiting belief?”
I understand that it’s really scary to invest your money in something that feels like a risk. In all honesty, online advertising is a risk!
So if you’ve ever been afraid to spend your money on paid traffic, it’s completely understandable and you’re not alone.
But if you’re trying to figure out how you can spend as little as possible, then you’re already coming into this with the belief that it won’t work.
And you know what?
That becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you don’t believe that online advertising is going to work for you, then it probably won’t.
The same goes for any other project in your life that you might take on.
I mean, if you want to get in better shape, you can’t go into it with the idea that you want to get ripped while doing as little exercise as possible. It doesn’t work that way!
If you want to see real results, you’ve got to believe that it’s possible and you’ve got to be willing to invest your time, your effort and your money in yourself.
Because business owners who invest in themselves go further. Plain and simple.
Now, that doesn’t mean I’m advising you to throw caution to the wind and dump every penny you have into paid ads. You still need to be smart about how you’re spending your marketing dollars!
But you do need to approach this with a positive attitude.
Which brings me to my next major point…
You Must Look at Your Ad Spend as an Investment
And just like any other investment, it does take time to pay off. So, you’ve got to be patient!
I hear from so many first-time advertisers that they gave Google Ads (or even Facebook Ads for that matter) a try but it just didn’t work out for them. They ran an ad for like 2 weeks and they didn’t make any sales so they just stopped their campaign.
But when I ask these people how much money they actually invested it’s typically only around $200.
Statistically speaking, that’s probably not enough of an investment to see an immediate return.
Especially if you’re a service-based business and your goal is to get people to book an appointment with you… In some cases, an appointment that will cost them $100, $200, or even more depending on what services you offer.
For example, I work with lash extension artists who charge upwards of $300 for a full set of volume lashes.
I also work with wedding photographers who charge a minimum of $3,600 for a starter photography package.
So, what you need to remember when you’re running ads is that you’re asking people who don’t even know you to spend a lot of money on you. It’s just not realistic to think that you can acquire a new customer by spending $3 on them.
Of course, we all want to work towards achieving the lowest cost per acquisition possible (and I highly encourage you to do just that).
But when you’re new to paid advertising, I mean… You’re just getting started! You’re still learning! You’re still figuring out what works best for YOU and that takes time!
So to be completely transparent, it’s probably going to take you more than $200 and 2 weeks to optimize your first Google Ads campaign.
Which brings me to the loaded question…
How Much Money Do You Need to Spend to Start Getting More Clients?
And how many new clients can you actually expect to get out of that investment?
Well, that depends on a whole lot of factors such as the average lifetime value of a customer, your overhead costs, your profit margin and your conversion rate (if you’re a small business owner you must know these numbers).
For that reason, I can’t give you an exact number. The answer will be different for everyone. But I do recommend that you start with $10/day to at least give your campaign a chance to generate a statistically significant number of clicks.
Sidenote: I can walk you through how to calculate your advertising budget (and your maximum cost per acquisition) inside Search Engine Superstars! There’s an entire section dedicated to budget planning, so if you haven’t joined me yet you can do so here.
But you know what?
No matter what the experts say (including me)…
No matter what any budget calculator says…
YOU are still the one in control!
And the mindset you approach your campaign with is going to have a huge impact on whether or not you succeed.
With all of that said…
I Have a Challenge For You!
I think this challenge will help you keep your eyes on the prize instead of freaking out while your campaign is still learning.
I challenge you to come up with a dollar amount that you feel comfortable investing in paid ads over a period of 30 days…
AND STICK TO THAT NUMBER NO MATTER WHAT!
And whatever that number is, I want you to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
What I mean by that is, when you’re coming up with this number, approach it with a positive attitude.
Be brave enough to actually make a real investment in yourself and believe that it will pay off.
But be smart about the risk you’re taking. Choose an amount that’s not going to break your bank, even if it doesn’t work out this time around.
Let Me Give You an Example…
Let’s say that my number is $600…
This means that I’m going to spend $600 on my campaign over 30 days no matter what. I’m not going to freak out, pause my ads after one week and declare that online ads are bullshit. I’m going to see it through and give my campaign a chance to learn.
What can I expect to get out of that $600?
Well, if I’m selling a service worth $150, that means I need to make 4 sales to break even. That should be my goal. 4 sales in one month.
And you know what, those 4 sales don’t have to come from 4 different people. Maybe my ad investment gets me 1 new client who then comes back 4 times. Or maybe it gets me 2 clients who each come back twice.
As long as I make 4 sales at $150 each, I’ll break even, my first month can be considered a success and then I can move on to optimizing my campaign and reducing my cost per acquisition.
On the flip side, I’m preparing for the worst.
If I spend $600 and I don’t make a single sale, well, that will be really disappointing and it will definitely suck to be out that amount of money, but it’s not going to bankrupt me. I’m not going to go out of business or have my electricity cut off just because I spent $600.
If I was so broke that spending that much would put me in dire straights, I probably shouldn’t be advertising right now. Instead, I should be looking at other things inside my business first.
And you know what, just because I’ve decided to spend $600 and see it through, that doesn’t mean I’m just going to throw it at my campaign and see what happens!
Start Slowly and Optimize Your Campaign Over Time
So what does that look like?
Maybe I would start out with a budget of $10 per day for the first 10 days.
After those 10 days are up, I can look at what people are searching, add some negative keywords and refine my match types.
Then I might bump up my budget to $20 per day for the next 10 days.
And once that time is up, I can take a look at which ads are seeing the best Click-Through Rates and pause the losers.
Then I might bump up my budget again to $30 per day for the final 10 days of the month.
You see what I mean? I’m still being smart about how I invest that $600 and I’m seeing it right to the end.
So that’s what I want you to do. That’s your challenge!
But Wait… There’s a Second Challenge!
No matter what happens, at the end of 30 days, I challenge you to find 3 positive outcomes from your campaign other than sales.
Yes, conversions are important, but sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to really figure out what works.
There’s a ton of value in that trial and error process if you know where to look!
Positive Outcome #1
If I spent $600 on my campaign and my average Cost per Click was $2 that means I received approximately 300 new visits to my website from people who are at least somewhat interested in my service (I know this because they searched for related keywords).
Now I can retarget that warm traffic with visual ads on the Display Network, Facebook and Instagram. This will improve their brand recall and give them a chance to come back.
This means awareness of my business and has just increased by 300 people and that’s a positive outcome!
Positive Outcome #2
Let’s say throughout my campaign’s first 30 days I was checking my search terms regularly. I most likely would have found irrelevant keywords that don’t align with my offer and would have added those as negative keywords.
At the end of 30 days, not only will I have reduced my Cost per Click and improved the quality of my traffic, I will have set myself up to get even more relevant traffic next month, which will probably lead to more sales down the road!
On top of that, I’d have a much better understanding of what people are actually searching for, and that’s a win.
Positive Outcome #3
Let’s say I started out by testing 4 different versions of an ad inside one ad group. At the end of 30 days, I’d most likely have enough clicks and data to determine which of those ads performs best.
I’d keep the top 2 ads running, pause the 2 losers and again, I’ll have set myself up to get more relevant traffic in the future.
As scary as it is to spend money on ads, you can still gather a ton of positive and useful data that’s going to help you optimize for new bookings even if you don’t reach your sales goal right away.
So, what do you say? Are you with me?
Alright, if you take anything away from this article, I hope it’s this…
You MUST be Willing to Invest in Yourself and Your Business if You Want to Grow
There will always be a bit of fear involved. There will always be growing pains. That’s completely normal!
But in order to be successful, you need to approach your paid ads strategy with a positive attitude. You need to ditch the limiting belief that it’s not going to work and that you’re going to lose everything.
Because that belief doesn’t serve you or your business.
If you’re on board, I want you to leave me a comment and let me know that you accept the challenge.
You got that? I want to hear from you!
And if you have any other thoughts or worries about spending money on paid traffic, just let me know and we can talk it out!